Saturday, April 16, 2011

Applying for Jobs Without Required Certifications and Degrees

Here's a question from a student teacher preparing for the job search.

I'm student teaching and nearly completed with my teacher education program. Can I apply for teaching jobs now when I haven’t earned a teaching certificate or education degree yet?

Yes and no.

You can apply for substitute teaching positions. Public school employers usually honor “student teaching certificates.” You will present the official teaching certificate to the employer when you receive the document.

Non-public schools usually do not require teaching certifications. So, you can apply for these positions.

During initial screening of applications, public school employers quickly examine your résumé, cover letter, and evidence of required certifications.
If applying for a “low demand” public school teaching position (and a high supply of applications), you are more likely to pass the initial screening with an earned degree and certification.

If applying for a “high demand” public school teaching position (and nearing completion of your teacher education program), you may pass the initial screening without holding the degree or official certification. When you apply, indicate on your résumé and cover letter that your certification and degree are “pending (expected date).” After you earn your degree and teaching certification, then update your résumé and cover letter. Submit revised application materials and official documents and/or update your online account.

If you lack the required degree and certification and the public school/district can prove to the state that there are no other qualified applicants, the district will help the selected applicant get an “emergency certification.” Before offering a teaching contract, the public school/district will require evidence of your degree and certification.

BOOKNOTE: See The Guide for information about educator supply and demand and where to go online to search for teaching jobs.